Are you Choking?
Richard L. Floyd
"As for the seed that was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the lure of wealth choke the word, and it yields nothing." - Matthew 13:22
Jesus told them about a sower who had four different outcomes depending on where the seed landed: some on a path, some on rocky ground, some among thorns, and some on good soil where it flourished.
The kind of thwarted seed that speaks most to me is the handful that landed in the thorns, where "the cares of the world and the lure of wealth choke the word."
I've never been particularly susceptible to the lure of wealth, but I am an expert on "the cares of the world." It may be in my genes. My grandmother, Irma Grace, was what the family called a "worrywart," a word you don't hear much anymore, but one that means "a person who worries too much or who worries about things that are not important."
My grandmother was the Babe Ruth of worrying. She had long lists of things to worry about, and if one worry got resolved the next one would quickly move to the top of the list. I have some retrospective sympathy now as I think of her and her young family trying to live their lives during the Dust Bowl days of the Great Depression. Still, even after they all survived and thrived she kept on worrying until her dying day.
Such worry deprives us of the fullness of life that Jesus came to give us. It robs us of the abundant joy of being his follower. It chokes the living word right out of us.
Abundant God, who feeds the birds of the air and clothes the lilies of the field, you know our need. Free us from the chokehold of worry that we may hear your word and joyfully follow your son, Jesus.